Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Shopping sprees

We somehow ended up with the planning for this year's King family Christmas. I'm not sure how that happened. Maybe the Good Doctor was attempting to explore his creative, organizational side. Or maybe not. Any-who, we were on the search for creative giving ideas that didn't include mounds of gifts.

I once read about an extended family that has a unique giving tradition. Every year, each family member brings a cash donation to the Christmas gathering. There is no set amount, each person chooses the amount that he/she is able to give that year. The money is then pulled together and counted. Each family member also brings the name of a charitable organization and these are written on individual slips of paper and put into a basket. One organization is drawn from the basket and that year's money is given to the individual who had selected that organization, who in turn sees that the donation is made in full.

We liked this idea but wasn't sure it was the right one for our family. We also wanted something that the children could be a part of, and could in some way contribute. So we changed things up a bit and came up with our own plan.

Like the idea I had read about, each family was asked to bring a monetary donation in any amount. We added it up and found that we had $100 for each of 4 different groups of children. Four of the older cousins with driver's licenses were chosen as team captains and drivers. They each chose their team members from the remaining cousins. Off they went, in teams of 6, to shop grocery stores. They were told to purchase non-perishable food and grocery items for the local food bank. Prizes would be given in various categories including 1. Largest volume 2. Largest quantity and 3. Receipt(s) closest to $100 without going over.

As teams were given a time limit, left for their cars, transferred car seats for the youngest members, and received last-minute instructions to come home with the same number of children they left with, the house became suddenly quiet. Some family members fretted over the possible reactions of store clerks once they were invaded by members of the King family. Others fretted over possible missing children reports. One even presupposed that members of the King family may be forever-more banished from the establishments in the local area. The rest of us basked in the rare quietude.

In the end, a good time was had by all. Team Molly took home the prize for "Best Support of Local Establishments."

Team Mallory (insisting that they be called Team Fuzzy Donut), took extra time with their contest presentation (a canned goods tower came after this photo). They scored extra points for creating family memories, stopping for pizza after their shopping spree.

Team Jerry tied for first place in coming closest to $100, managing to spend exactly $100.

Team Katilyn (AKA Team Awesome) came home with a sweep of the categories. They won for volume (thinking to buy jugs of juice), for quantity, and tying for coming closest to $100. In their case, they enlisted the cashier's help. In the end, their bill was $100.01. They suggested to the cashier that if she would donate a penny, they'd win. She agreed.

Memories. Giving. Fun. A win for everyone!

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